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Power shortages likely to hit south, central China this winter

(Xinhua)

16:28, September 29, 2011

BEIJING, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- A senior official from the National Energy Administration (NEA) warned Thursday that power supply shortages are likely to occur in China's southern and central regions this winter as demand for electricity increases.

Hao Weiping, vice director of the NEA's electric power department, said that while demand for electricity will likely grow at a slower rate this winter, overall power demands will remain at a high level.

Hao said that regions that rely on hydroelectric power will be particularly prone to supply crunch during the cold weather.

He said that the capacity of the nation's major hydroelectric power plants will be reduced by 30 to 40 percent because of water shortages.

The official cited a prolonged drought in south China this summer that caused hydroelectric power plants to generate less electricity. Hydroelectric power generation during the June-August period was down 39.1 percent year-on-year in east China, while power generated by the Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest hydroelectric power plant, was also down 16.9 percent.

Hao said that the NEA will work with other government departments to construct reliable power facilities and make changes to the country's power grid. The NEA will also closely follow changes in supply and demand and strengthen its coordination with other departments to make sure that demand is met.

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